Ask  Plot Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Discussion in 'Colonies and Inner Rim' started by Asha, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Asha

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    [​IMG]

    Images plagued her dreams.

    Thoughts, shapes, voices, some she recognized and those she didn't—they all blended together, leaving her a writhing mess on her bunk. She saw two figures standing on the banks next to a series of waterfalls. One of them looked like her, but older and more mature somehow. The other was small and gnomelike, with green skin and sad eyes. And then the vision seemed to zoom in, showing her a small cube, glowing with soft blue light in the hands of the woman who looked like her. She was old and grey now, and she clung to the little object as if it were the last valuable possession that she had in life.

    And then the dream turned and she saw herself as a little girl, standing in the fields next to the cemetery her family had buried themselves for centuries. They were burying her older sister—the first loss of many—after disease had ravaged her body years before war came to Ifrane. She stood alongside her mother, who was as beautiful as she was strong. Her mother knelt next to her and lightly stroked the tears from her eyes with the pads of her thumbs.

    "Come now, love. You musn't cry," said the woman who, herself, was fighting back a river of tears. "Nobody is ever really gone. Auni has transformed into the Force! Now, she is without pain and will be with us forever."

    Her mother had always spoken highly of the Force. "Trust the Force," she had always said. But when the Sith came to Ifrane, whatever trust Asha had in the Force was obliterated. How could something so supposedly good produce such terrible evil? But here, in this vision that was so real, looking at her mother's face again, her heart ached and she wanted to believe the words that were imparted to her then. But the vision was over all too quickly, and she was jolted awake in a pool of her own sweat.

    Sitting up in her bunk, and in the privacy of her own room, she allowed herself a moment of grief. A moment to weep for all that she had lost. But it was only a moment, for soon she dried her eyes and reached for her clothes. Next came her sword, which she slung around her shoulder. A new day was beginning, and there was work to be done...


    * * *​

    Asha knocked lightly on the door of the chambers that had been provided for Leah during her stay at the base on Ifrane. When they arrived, she hadn't known if they would ever see each other again; in fact, she had almost distanced herself purposely from the supposed-Jedi. But she knew the dreams she was having came from the Force, and the vision she had seen last night was the strongest she'd ever had—likely because of their touch the day prior, which she could still feel on her fingertips when she thought about it.

    If anyone had answers, it would be her. Asha was reluctant to talk to the woman more about what was happening to her; but she needed closure. More, she needed to be able to sleep decently again. And no problem ever solved itself by avoiding it.

    When the door swished open, Asha stepped in and leaned against the doorframe. "I came to see how you were settling in," she lied. "And to ask how everything went with the higher-ups yesterday. Are they convinced?" @Deviant
     
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  2. Leah Reach

    Leah Reach Character

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    Leah was in deep meditation. Eyes closed, legs crossed against her bed and hands pressed together, she drifted aimlessly through the Force. Terrible dreams and nightmares plagued her through the night, one of many since losing her daughter, her son and her husband. She longed for the Force to free her from the pain and heartache, but it never answered. The best the Jedi Master could do was stand on the fine line between consciousness and slumber, resting and momentarily liberated from the shadows of her past. Still, behind her, they loomed. There was no escape from the wound in her chest.

    Leah, I love you.” She opened her eyes. This time, her hands were pressed against another, fingers twined with another, eyes locked with another. She was staring deep into his gaze, a brilliant blue, and a smile stretched farther than the distance between the two. He leaned in to kiss, and like old days, she did the same. Except, as her head tilted forward, she stumbled into nothing. His warm breath, soft hands, were gone and Leah was left again in her lonesome. But she was not back in her room, rather she was trapped in a void. An oblivion full of an emptiness that terrified her. Then, voices grew, colors formed and a picture was made clear.

    The times ahead of you will be challenging…” A raspy, grieving voice said. As she blinked several times, she caught the figure of a strange and tiny alien. Ears like horns, wrinkles sunken into his skin, but carrying with him a wisdom she had never seen or known. “…but as long as you remain true to who you are, I know that you will be able to unlock the final secret contained within…” Her eyes followed what looked to be a small cube, passed down to a younger woman who bore a striking resemblance to the woman she met earlier, Asha. To her, the cube looked like a weight too great to carry. Hope.

    Find it.” Another voice, perhaps the woman, whispered, but instead from behind Leah. She reared her head to find nothing, and when she turned back, the Jedi Master was back in her room. However, she was not alone either. Someone knocked against her door, softly, beckoning her to answer. Wiping the sweat from her brow and adjusting herself back into reality, Leah clambered up and moved to the door. With a hiss, it opened to reveal none other than Asha herself. Why she was here, at such a time or hour, and following a strange vision, were questions buzzing in her mind. None of which she felt the need to ask, however. For now, she would keep her suspicions to herself.

    Ah, Asha— it's nice to see you. Please, come in.” With pleasantries out of the way, she gestured the young woman into her personal chambers. Which, to her own surprise, was rather nice. For a rebel cell having just emerged from a revolution against the Sith Empire, they were well on their feet. They were exactly what the Alliance was looking for, precisely what she had come for. “But yes, the negotiations fared well. Better than expected. Given time, as you’ve said, I’m certain they’ll come around and stand beside the Galactic Alliance, and the rest of the galaxy, against the Sith menace.” She nodded confidently.

    But in the meantime, I will wait for a clear answer.” The Jedi drifted to her makeshift kitchen, where a kettle of tea sat patiently on a rudimentary stove. With the stretch of two fingers, the stove caught fire and two empty cups gravitated to her. As Asha already knew Leah was a Jedi and a wielder of the Force, she could finally use it for the simple things. For instance, making tea against a backdrop of simple conversation. But with a Jedi, nothing was ever so simple. And without even looking back, she questioned the girl. “How about you? Are you convinced?” The implications were there, the question open, but the answer yet to be seen.

    @Malon
     
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  3. Asha

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    "I'm convinced that you're here to help," Asha admitted sternly. Her indoor voice was a harsh whisper at best and her gaze was distant, but she just couldn't get the dream out of her head. She found it hard to focus on the here-and-now. She was sure Leah noticed. "If you weren't, then I doubt the higher-ups would have given you bed or food or left your door unguarded. And I doubt even less that we would be having this conversation right now." She paused a moment before adding, "But that doesn't mean I completely believe you're a Jedi."

    She folded her arms and huffed. There was still time to back out. She did not have to broach this topic with Leah. Perhaps the best way to stop the dreams was to refuse to acknowledge them, just like she did the power within her. But, as she watched the woman expertly use some invisible Force to ignite the fireplace and call to cups to her hand, she couldn't help but confess, "Although, that is pretty convincing."

    Huffing again, she stepped full into the room and hit the panel near the door so that it swished shut behind her, giving them privacy. She then crossed the room and sat down, sinking into the bottom of Leah's mattress. She briefly glanced at the pot of tea near the stove as she did and wondered if she might be able to call it to her with as simple a gesture. Leah had said it yesterday, right? The power within her was definitely the Force, so... No. She couldn't. She could definitely not use that power. She needed answers, not to be inducted into some ancient, long-dead cult.

    "The truth is..." She struggled with the words. Dare she admit it? Dare she say what was at the tip of her tongue? Trust the Force, her mother had said, but the Force was invisible and not all that trustworthy—and, besides, she hardly knew this woman. But her mouth worked faster than her brain, and so, before she could convince herself otherwise, she hung her head, allowing her dreadlocks to fall in front of her eyes, and said, "I think... I think I need your help." @Deviant
     
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  4. Leah Reach

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    Pretty convincing? Oh, I’m sure.” She smirked and watched the water simmer within the kettle. For a minute, Leah wandered through her kitchen, plucking out tea bags and sugar and spoons from their respective places. Again, the rebel cell was furnished surprisingly well. Compared to her homestead on Al’doleem, or her personal chambers at Savareen, she never felt more at home than on Ifrane. For a world once enslaved and invaded on numerous occasions, they were quick to rebuild. A model for all rebels to look to in their fight against the Sith. Blind hope was not all they had, because Ifrane had already bore fruit from faith.

    Once Asha made her intentions known, the kettle whistled. With the snap of her fingers, the stove was extinguished and the whistle silenced. Leah’s center of attraction was back to the younger woman, but only for a moment. “Ah, now you need my help?” She smiled jokingly, playing her sarcasm off as simple banter. But with these kind of conversations, her sincerity quickly set in. Kettle, cups, honey and lemon laid across a tray, she approached Asha and placed it on the mattress between them. Without the Force, she poured both of them a cup, slow and patient. While she was often one to shoot straight to the point, Leah often enjoyed strange, quiet moments like these.

    Any honey?” She asked, biting back another smile. However, the Jedi Master was utterly serious. Given a few more seconds, she carefully mixed in two spoonfuls of the golden liquid into her own cup. As vapor lifted into the air, she took a sip and nodded approvingly. Then, she asked: “How about lemon?” This time, Leah plucked a lemon from the tray and squeezed a few drops into her concoction. Nothing like a splash of citrus to add that much needed kick.

    Another pause and her eyes finally settled back to the fiery rebel. “Alright, what can I help you with?

    @Malon
     
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  5. Asha

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    The so-called Jedi joked, but Asha felt ashamed. She had been rather rude to Leah yesterday, she supposed. But she didn't know how to approach these matters. This was all rather new to her; it was if the entire galaxy was growing too large too quickly and she was being rushed to fill a role she wasn't even certain about yet. However, she accepted the tea (and the condiments) with a series of grateful nods and took a large sip.

    "I have dreams," she confessed after a long moment. "And not the normal kind, either. These are... different. Vivid. They are of people I have never met and places I've never seen or been to. And, yet... somehow... they are familiar at the same time." The entire time she spoke, she avoided Leah's eye contact. Speaking aloud her problem made it seem less, well, problematic. Instead, she nervously sipped at her tea again. "Other times, they're glimpses of my past. My mother. She was... well, let's just say she trusted the Force more than I do. She swore by it."

    She took another long sip of her tea and used it as a moment to put her thoughts together. But, mostly, she kept hearing her mother's voice, as though she were calling across space-time to this exact moment. Trust the Force. Why had her mother been so trusting of it? It wasn't like she was a religious woman. And, at least as far as Asha knew, the woman never had any powers of her own. Yet she was unwavering in her certainty that the Force was the answer to all of life's hardships. It was almost as if she had known something that Asha did not, and, in this moment, it was maddening.

    She swallowed — first her tea, then her pride, and then her fear. "Last night, I saw a woman and an alien of some sort. Green, goblinlike. The woman was holding a cube. It was—" She knitted her eyebrows together as she attempted to conjure the memory "—glowing blue, I think. And I have never seen any of these people or objects before, but I just know they're not just dreams. There is a meaning to them. Our touch yesterday... it started something." Now, she raised her head and forced her gaze to meet with Leah's. "I'm going to give you a chance. You said it was my destiny to come with you and learn the ways of the Jedi. You also want me to believe that you are a Jedi." A pause. A breath. A sigh. "So, make me believe." @Deviant
     
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  6. Leah Reach

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    Dreams and visions. Asha’s untimely arrive was not so untimely, nor was it coincidence. This was the Force talking, to both of them, demanding they seek out what each woman saw: a familiar woman, a green alien and between them a cube of unknown power. But as Leah pressed her mind to the image, and to the other woman’s thorough description, it wasn’t hard to piece together the puzzle. A Jedi artifact, either full of knowledge or ancient gifts passed down by generations before being lost in the Order’s fall. Except, if the Force called for them to find it, then it was not lost. And if was meant to bring the two together on a world like Ifrane, then she was sure it was here.

    She set her tea down and nodded, taking in every word given. “I know what it is you saw. The Force showed me the same.” The Jedi Master looked to Asha. “A tiny alien and a woman much like you.” Hr eyes inspected the younger woman, from her cheekbones to every facet of her features, and confirmed it was so. “They were Jedi, I am sure. The last of the Order before it collapsed five hundred years ago. I suspect they were sharing a prized Jedi artifact, perhaps crucial to the Order’s survival and preservation. What it may contain I cannot say but the Force calls out— to me and to you —to recover this artifact before it falls into the wrong hands.

    Leah took another sip from her drink, longer this time, savoring it before the next inevitable journey came around. A moment later, she placed it back to the tray and left it on her mattress as she retreated to her personal closet. With the scoop of her hand, she picked a satchel off the floor and threw it over her shoulder. Her fingers hovering over her head, the Jedi adjusted her hair almost effortlessly. “Alright, I will make you believe then. But you will have to accompany me in search of this artifact. I’m almost certain it is hidden somewhere on Ifrane. I have no clue where exactly, but the Force will show us the way. It always has and always will.

    A trace of a smile pulled against the edge of her lips. “I’m asking you come with me not because I want you to, but because you need to. Don’t worry though, it is easy to find truth.” She repeated the words of an old Jedi, her mother. “But it is hard to face it, and harder still to follow it.” A warning for what was to come, but Leah was confident Asha would understand, and embark on the path of the true Jedi.

    @Malon
     
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  7. Asha

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    Asha was pensive. "Someone once told me that nothing is more difficult than finding even a single true thing in this galaxy of lies." That had not been her mother. It had been her father. He was the skeptic inside her. When she doubted things, she did so in his voice. But, this time, she let her mother's voice prevail. "But you're the only lead I've got, so I'm going to give you a chance."

    She sighed, sitting her tea down and pushing herself up off of Leah's mattress. "Besides, you're in luck. Ifrane was once really friendly with the Jedi Order. Back when we had a king, he was said to be good friends with their leader, whose student was from this world." Asha pulled out her datapad and ran a search of the HoloNet. A few seconds later, when the results came in, she smirked to herself. "I don't know about any Jedi objects on this planet, and I don't even know the names of the Jedi from the stories, but if I were a betting woman, I'll bet they're the ones from our dreams."

    She tossed Leah the datapad. The screen was opened to a local rebel cell dispatch about the ruins of the palace in the capital city. Asha had highlighted a portion about a computer archive that might contain valuable information for the Ifrane cell. "We were planning to hit it later this month, but I think you and I are going to hit it today. The old capital city has been a ruin for years. Ever since the Empire invaded and put down early resistance centuries ago. But some systems are still intact." She flicked her hair out of her face and folded her arms across her chest. "If the royals really were friends with the Jedi, we can find clues to where they might have hidden something of value there. There might be looters, but—" She smirked "—seeing you in action? That might help prove your case... a bit."

    Asha wasn't sure what "proof" she was looking for anymore, but the answer wouldn't be found sitting around base trading barbs with this woman all day. She needed to see this so-called Jedi in the field. The looters that had discouraged her cell from investigating the old capital should be easy prey for a Jedi Knight. And, if Leah really was a Jedi, Asha wanted to be there to see that. @Deviant
     
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  8. Leah Reach

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    Well, well, I see why the rebel cell on Ifrane looks to you so highly.” She glanced down to the data pad now in hand, glad that Asha had already picked up a trail of bread crumbs before the journey even began. That would make things much easier, and far less boring. “And here I thought I would have to pray to the Force to lead the way.” She smirked, although to anyone else it would be hard to tell whether she was joking or not. It wouldn’t be the first time she turned to pleading with the Force to grant her every wish. Not in the least.

    Her shoulders shrugged at hearing the idea of looters or remnants of an Imperial presence. “Looters or not, so be it. The more, the merrier. I suppose I could use the practice.” Her hand snapped out and the hilt of her lightsaber sailed from below her pillow and into her hand. She fiddled with the elegant weapon, letting it hover and twirl over her fingertips, until she tucked it into her satchel. If Asha was seeking proof, Leah would give it. Although she felt the other woman, deep down, knew it was so. Perhaps it was hesitation, uncertainty, a desire to know fully, that kept her from walking the path now. Asha would take that leap of faith yet, but the Jedi hoped she would in time.

    If you’re going to be coming with me, I imagine you’ll be needing more than your bare fists?” She smiled back to the young woman who had entered her chambers without a single idea they would be venturing out so soon. But Leah was always ready for the next adventure. That was the only way she could keep her mind anywhere but on her husband or family. She had to stay on her feet if she wanted to keep out of reach from her past and its shadow constantly looming behind her. However, one can only run from their problems for so long before giving out. For the Jedi Master, that too was only a matter of time.

    @Malon
     
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  9. Asha

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    Asha offered a rare smirk and began to step backwards towards the door to the room. Remembering where the door switch was, she slapped it on her way back so that the door swished open in time with her step. Outside, her sword was leaning against the door and her blaster strapped to that—right where she had left them. "I always come prepared," she said with the smirk still lightly touching her lips. "I just didn't want to intimidate you."

    The woman had not missed the lightsaber that Leah had called to her hand. The weapon was on her mind as they left base in an Ifranian shuttle bound for the ruins of the capital city. She wondered what color the woman's blade was. When Asha thought of lightsabers, all she could see was a crimson blade and all she could hear were screams. Red lightsabers like that had reshaped the galaxy and even the surface of Ifrane. But she wasn't necessarily convinced that blue or green lightsabers would change it back, either.

    They were nearing the outskirts of the city when Asha finally had the courage to ask, "If you really are what you say you are, where have you all been for so long?" She didn't take her eyes off of the controls or the viewport, but, in her mind, she was glaring at the other woman. "The Sith have oppressed us all for centuries. The galaxy needs the Jedi. So where have you been, and why are you only now starting to resurface to fight back?"

    Leah was right. Asha did know the truth. Too many things were piling up that she'd have been a fool to deny it anymore. This woman was a Jedi, but that didn't mean that Asha was convinced enough to join them or learn their ways. She needed to understand why these warriors of old, these heroes of legend, had refused to help the galaxy in its time of need. She needed to understand how they thought — why they acted the way they did — otherwise, she might never live with her decision.

    And, in the meantime, she began to veer the shuttle towards a viable landing spot. @Deviant
     
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  10. Leah Reach

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    Oh? Oh.” She responded, surprised yet not too surprised at the revelation that Asha had brought her weapons with her and left it outside. Had she come to her chambers expecting to embark on a spontaneous adventure, or was it a necessary precaution? The Jedi Master thought it best not to dwell on it. As long as the younger rebel was more than ready to go, then she was content for not having to wait. Instead, the pair could make a beeline for the rebel cell’s personal shuttle and a take trip to the ruins of the capital. Surely, the trail they were looking to pick up would be found there.

    And given time, it was a trail they were already nearing. Now aboard the transport as it sailed through the sky, she sat legs crossed in the cockpit passenger seat. For most of the ride, she was deep in meditation, attracted to every ripple in the Force, each greater than the one before, the longer she was on Ifrane. However, she was pulled out of her quiet contemplation and back into reality by Asha’s question.

    We were hiding.” She said, plain and simple, but too blunt for the taste of anyone. Leah knew Asha would want a better explanation. It was the least she deserved. “At least, for a time. While much of the Order sacrificed itself so the rest could scatter, the Sith were not so easily convinced of our destruction.They sent Mandalorians, crusaders for the Sith, to hunt us down. Many more were lost, and for many years the Jedi faced extinction. As we were, there was no way we could oppose the Empire. Not until we heard of a growing Rebellion in the Outer-Rim.

    The best of us, Master Eli Reach, decided it was best we join them. And for a while, he was right.” She paused, unsure if she could continue the story, but did regardless. “The Empire followed a trail left behind by rebel extremists to the Jedi sanctuary on Dantooine, which we had opened to this new Rebellion. They never caught the full picture, like who we were or the continued perseverance of the Jedi, but that didn’t stop them from bombing the entire refuge.” Her eyes came to a mournful close. “Only a few survived, myself included.” A deep breath in. “But we’re here now, inspired by the ideals of those we lost. Ideas the Empire can never take away.

    What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.” The Jedi Master added, managing a weak but hopeful smile. But could the same apply to her? Leah was strong in the Force, but she thought herself nothing without her husband. He was the pedestal on which she could lean upon, the shoulder to cry on, and the one person capable of bearing the torch of the Jedi. Presently, she didn’t feel much stronger.

    Once the ship touched down to an abandoned landing platform, Leah rose from her seat. “Let’s go.” She was done talking about the past. It was about time to start taking action for the future. Still, as much as she believed in the thought, no matter how hard she fought or how many enemies she struck down, the past was always pursuing. She could take as many steps forward as she’d like but Leah could never escape her shadow.

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  11. Asha

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    [​IMG]


    The shuttle's touchdown in the capital city did not go unnoticed by the eight looters combing its streets. The rest of their looting party was long gone—these were just stragglers making sure that they had gotten all of the loot they required. Of those eight, three noticed the shuttle landing from the loud whining its engine produced, and particularly the echoes this caused in the otherwise empty city. Weapons drawn, they immediately began to rush for the shuttle's landing site.

    Meanwhile, Asha, fresh from having heard Leah's answer to her question, stepped outside the shuttle with her would-be mentor in tow. Her heart was heavy with everything she had heard. But, as she opened her mouth to say something (though she didn't know what to say), she felt her stomach drop into a pit—as though gravity had just opened up beneath her and sucked it down towards the ground.

    "Something is coming!" she said to Leah, alarmed. Instinctively, she drew her blaster and her instincts immediately paid off. The looters who shot at them were poor shots and the laser bolts sailed by their heads harmlessly. Asha did not take the Force's providence for granted. She shouted to Leah, "Run!" And, then, she did just that.

    Asha ran for the first opening she saw in one of the streets ahead. As she passed on of the three looters that had ambushed them, she shot at his leg. The man's pained scream was all the proof she needed that she had hit her mark, and so she continued running without looking back. They needed cover and a plan, fast or their trip to the palace was about to be an exceedingly short one. @Deviant

    OOC - We are dice rolling here :3
     
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  12. Leah Reach

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    If you insist.Leah answered, her tone lukewarm and features undisturbed in spite of the impending attack. Since landing, the Jedi Master sensed a presence full of dark intentions, immediately connecting it to the resident looters of the capital city. With how far they were and how terrible of a shot each man was, she was untroubled. She might as well unstrap her holster, polish her blaster for a few moments and meditate on the truth of the Force before returning the compliment, all without managing so much as a scratch. Maybe that was her ego talking, maybe not. In the end, she chose to ignore it. The Jedi trusted Asha enough to know the streets, and its inhabitants, best. And it was best that she follow her step by step.

    Unarmed and each hand curled into a fist, Leah rushed beside the other woman. She came close to passing her until Asha shot one looter point blank and square below the waist, eliciting a sharp chuckle out of the older woman. “Very smooth,” she said, gaze darting back and forth from the young woman to the wailing looter. What more did he expect? Live by the blaster, die by the blaster. Except, he wouldn’t die. Maybe lose feeling in his leg, grow to become the slowest raider of them all, wallow in regret for the terrible actions that led him down that path. A supposedly deserved punishment for a supposedly treacherous individual. Not that the next years of his life mattered in any way.

    What was her main focus was the road ahead and behind. From the looks of it, the narrow street was perfectly clear, as was the ruined buildings lined across it. The Jedi Master was relieved that they wouldn’t be running into another ambush just yet, but that didn’t mean she could escape the one they was leaving behind. While one of the looters were down for the count, the other two he was with chased after them with renewed vigor. It seemed the successful blow only encouraged them to continue, not retreat. Fortunately, being in the terrible shape the men were, the pair of women easily outran them by a solid block. Any shots that also pursued them whirred aimlessly past as well.

    The alleyway!” She said, not loud enough for anyone else but Asha to hear, before gesturing to a crack between two buildings once they rounded the corner. From there, they might lose them. Or run into more trouble. Leah could only hope and imagine.

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  13. Asha

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    Asha wordlessly followed orders and dove towards the alleyway. Fortunately, the two women were quick and decisive enough in their actions that their pursuers didn't notice where they had gone. Asha ducked behind a dumpster and hid until the danger had passed, then breathed easy and threw Leah a sideways smirk. "That was fun. But let's not do that again, yeah?"

    When the danger was clear, Asha came out of her hiding place and began to examine their surroundings. She knew the layout of the city fairly well, but this alley was foreign to her. Going back out the way they had come in would run them into more trouble, but she didn't know if going over the chain-length fence at the end of the alley would lead them in the direction they wanted to go. Still, considering the alternatives...

    "This way," Asha said. She began to climb the fence and, reaching the top, hopped over to the other side. Looking both ways, she did not immediately see any danger present. She waved Leah over to inform her that the way was clear, and, when she was over, said, "I think we can follow this alleyway and come out on the other side. The palace shouldn't be too far—if we are where I think we are. And, if we aren't, well—" She smirked at the older woman. "—let's just hope you really are what you say you are."

    Asha proceeded ahead, hand on the hilt of her weapon, and kept her eye out. The palace should be ahead, and, within it, the information on the two Jedi they kept seeing in their dreams... or so she hoped. The longer this situation continued, the more answers she found she needed. And the dreadful feeling was beginning to dawn on her that her period of running away from whatever was within her was coming to an end... @Deviant
     
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  14. Leah Reach

    Leah Reach Character

    Galactic Alliance
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    No promises.” She answered with a wry grin. Although she was neither much in the mood to deal with another surprise attack of looters, Leah was energetic after the initial firefight. Adrenaline ran through his veins, boiled her blood, left her high on her toes. She hadn’t experienced so much action in quite a long time. She may have been a Jedi Master, but it always meditation, undercover operations, boring negotiations or advising the Alliance Commander. Nothing like a little action and pursuit to freshen up her day-to-day routine. The fact that it would mean a potential student and the discovery of a Jedi artifact only solidified her gratification of the whole mission.

    The older woman trailed close behind the younger, a finger fidgeting on the trigger should some unfortunate soul decide to mess with her. Fortunately, nobody did, although it wasn’t out of luck or the Force. Rather, for some reason, she felt lost. The alley was thin and winding, a labyrinth she couldn’t fully realize. The sharp-minded Jedi could hardly even remember where they came from. On the other hand, Asha did. In a matter of moments, she found a fence that led them back into the street, and hopefully, into the direction of the palace. While the Force guided Leah, the young woman was her guide this time around. She couldn’t sense any trail to follow either way.

    When she hopped the fence, she sighed. “Don’t worry, I am who I am. But what about you?” Eyebrow raised in her general direction, Leah dusted her shoulders. “In any case, let’s hope we’re close. I’m old and need to sit down for a sec.” A chuckle passed her lips, an obvious joke. Of course she could run for as long as she needed. Then again, she seemed to have spoken too soon, because around the nearest corner, half a dozen more looters brandishing rifles came charging. “Guess that does it. Back to running!” Firing her blaster toward them to no avail, she charged right back to an alleyway across the street. Another successful escape.

    Up until they hit the alleyway’s dead end barely a dozen meters into it. Leah groaned as the looter’s footsteps came ever closer. “Forget it.” She said before snapping her arm back and punching a giant hole straight into the wall. Almost immediately, it collapsed to reveal a new opening, this time into a decaying room of some apartment. As she kicked away the lower part of the wall, the Jedi Master turned to Asha and raised a bruised finger. “First lesson— if you ever find yourself meeting a wall you can’t overcome, just punch through it.” While a terrible (and rather painful) lesson, Leah could care less.

    @Malon
     
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  15. Asha

    Asha Character

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    For a moment, Asha was completely dumbfounded and stood motionless as she tried to process what she just saw. She wasn't sure which was more appalling: that Leah had just punched through a wall, or that the Force granted her such a power. But her senses quickly returned to her because the looters definitely heard that one. She could hear them approaching and so she whirled momentarily on the Jedi woman and quipped sarcastically, "Lesson two: don't ever do that within earshot of people who want to kill you."

    She fired off a shot at the approaching looters, but the shot missed by a long shot, causing Asha to utter a self-deprecating, "Shit!" She took off through the hole Leah had created for them just as the looters began to return fire, ducking several shots, which slapped against the outside wall. She immediately spotted a door and bolted through it so that she was outside on the opposite side of the building. From there, at long last, she could see the palace.

    "Over there!" she shouted as she began to run again. There was a small drainage ditch in her path and, feeling a sudden rush of confidence, she decided to see if she could use her latent powers to amplify her jump. Leah made it look so easy. If the older woman could do it, she could too. Or so she thought; but when it was come time to put that thought to action, she failed miserably.

    Asha made the leap—a relatively short one, thankfully—but the Force did not answer her call, sending her plummeting into the duracrete below. She gracefully rolled and leaped back to her feat, recovering with only a few scrapes and the loss of her pride. After climbing the short slope to the other side of the drainage ditch, she muttered a quick, "Gonna have to work on that one," before throwing her gaze back over her shoulder to make sure Leah was in pursuit. The ruins of the palace were just ahead. They need only duck their pursuers once more and then they would be home free. @Deviant
     
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  16. Leah Reach

    Leah Reach Character

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    Lesson learned?” She flashed a smile, welcoming the schooling from the younger woman, before diving into the hole in the wall. Having caught the attention of the looters who now descended upon them from the entrance of the alley, Leah was desperate to escape again. And at seeing Asha fail miserably at taking any of them out, especially from that distance, the Jedi Master thought it better not to attempt the same. If only to save herself the same embarrassment. Also, escape was her first priority. Killing the bad guys, not so much.

    Once Asha rushed through the nearest door, one barely holding onto its hinges at the end of a slender hall, Leah slammed it back to a close the second she was also through. Then, waving her hand over the knob, the metal cogs within crushed and twisted in a way that locked the door from the outside. This time, there was no way the looters could pursue them on their way to the palace, which was also now in view. “I see it!” She answered, quick to catch up to the younger woman. She might have been more athletic compared to the Jedi, but again— she was a Jedi. Plus, she didn’t want to be the one with her back against oncoming marauders.

    Because ultimately, the door did barely anything to stop them. Whether it was locked meant nothing, because with the doors on barely attached to the wall, one looter simply smashed right through. Seeing them charge after the pair elicited a third groan out of Leah, clearly done with the whole situation and wild goose chase. Earlier, she had expected some classic action and instead, she got herself a company of now a dozen looters hot on her tail and with little ability to fend them off. But with palace close in range, all she needed to do was jump. An easy feat for a Jedi Master like herself.

    Until she, well, fell along with Asha. And rather than the graceful kind of landing, she virtually smacked into the duracrete ground with a thud. While the Force cushioned her landing, Leah ached in pain. Tilting her face forward, she flipped a strand of hair out of her view. “You have got to be kidding me.” Uncertain why she never made the jump but more surprised that she didn't break her leg or wrist on the fall, the Jedi begrudgingly rose back to her feet all the same. Brushing dirt off her chest, she persevered and clamored up the other incline. The palace was so close now, along with what the two women were looking for. Still, the looters continued. While she would have admired their dedication, Leah was beyond done with the pursuit.

    @Malon
     
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  17. Asha

    Asha Character

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    Asha was just about done herself. They were at the steps leading up to the palace and something within her just... snapped. She inhaled, snatched her vibrosword out of its sheathe, and uttered one final "Nope."

    Then, rushing forward, she kicked the first looter down the steps. The subsequent fall was enough to render him unconscious. The next one wasn't so lucky. She swung her sword so quickly he probably didn't even know that he was dead by the time it carved through his head. She snapped around equally as fast on the third looter, relieving him of his head as well. For an instant, it was as if the Force was completely joined with Asha. In that instant, she ceased to be herself and zoned out, unconsciously letting it guide her actions.

    As a result, the looters shot, but just kept missing. She ducked their shots, dodged them, and then they promptly found a vibrating sword in their gut, chest, head, or neck. A few lost limbs before their gruesome demise. And when she was done, there was a pile of bodies on the steps of the palace. She exhaled, flicked her sword free of any excess gore, and then sheathed it. Almost immediately she felt guilty. This was the monster she was afraid of. This is what happened when she gave in and used her powers.

    And she had done it. She had given in, against her better judgement. She blinked away tears of frustration and tried to quickly regain her composure.

    Then, She chanced a shameful glance at Leah, then nodded and quietly said, "Come on. I know the rest of the way."

    Asha was quiet for the remainder of their trip into the palace. The halls were decimated from warfare, but there were no looters inside to trouble them. It was only a matter of navigating them to the archive chamber, which was located on a lower level, which was accessible by a winding marble staircase. Many of the terminals there were damaged or outright destroyed, but, after a bit of silent searching, Asha found two working ones for them to scour. She wasn't looking forward to the inevitable conversation, so, she tried to reframe the moment.

    She let Leah pick the terminal she wanted; then she chose her own. As she began to search, she asked, "Do you have any idea who the Jedi from our dreams could be? It would make searching for them in these records much faster." @Deviant
     
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  18. Leah Reach

    Leah Reach Character

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    Come on, we’re almost there—“ The older woman said once she reached the doors into the palace, but her words faltered. She looked back instead to find Asha, not as she was before, but something and someone else. The Force gathered around her, weighing heavy in the air and leaving an almost visible trail behind her every step down the stairs. Leah watched in a mixture of shock and awe as the young rebel suddenly and ruthlessly cut down the pursuing looters. Heads, limbs, gullets: gone. Blood trickled down the steps of Ifrane’s grand palace and the Jedi Master was left bewildered. She was unsure whether to be at ease or afraid.

    The raw strength she retained was nothing like Leah had ever seen. Not in a long time, not since her son first began manifesting his own powers. Chewing through utensils, breaking into walls, pulling objects toward him with the flick of a hand without even a taste of training. She was afraid then, was there reason to be afraid now? She watched Asha closely. The fierceness in her fighting style was almost in line with a Sith, but from old records, she knew there were Jedi who shared a similar approach, even if it brought them an inch closer to the edge. But Leah had faith in the young woman and in her own teaching. And by the shame in her eyes, she knew Asha could never fall into the dark.

    I know you, Asha.” She said, hoping to reassure her. “And you are no monster.” Her words came in tandem with her thoughts. Not because she could read them, but she could see her frustration and uncertainty. She was right to fear the Force, but she needed to learn to accept it. There was no escaping from her destiny, like it or not, she had to embrace that fear. If she was not careful, then the dark side would wait, but she was not alone in her endeavors. The rebel had Leah, the rest of the Jedi Order and over a thousand years of knowledge in the Force. She was in safe hands. Or so the Jedi Master, an idealist as she could often be, hoped.

    With the fight over and the tense exchange behind them, Leah followed Asha into the terminal room. She didn’t mind the awkward silence but was glad to hear her voice again when she closed in on a single, perhaps still functional, terminal. Her hand hovered inches above the screen, it suddenly blinked to life. But what name she could input, she was also unsure. “I don’t…” She paused and placed her hand against the mainframe keyboard. Out of nowhere, she felt the presence of a woman, and heard her voice clear as day. “My name is Imani Sage.” The Jedi drew a sharp breath, as if the name carried great weight, even if she had never heard it before.

    But whatever it was, wherever it came from, Leah believed that was the name they needed. It was the same voice she heard in during her vision in her personal chambers, and no doubt the same voice Asha heard in her dreams. It was guiding— calling to them, or to the relic, or to both. And as she always was, Leah would answer.

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  19. Asha

    Asha Character

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    Imani Sage.

    A name. They had a name. A Jedi's name. Asha was certain that the name belonged to the woman from her dreams—the woman who looked so much like her. She quickly ran a search of the name through her own databases. The terminal provided them with more. "Imani Sage. She was a Jedi Master at the end of the last war. She fought here on Ifrane... and must have survived. I've got coordinates... perhaps an address?"

    She quickly retrieved her datapad and input the information for safekeeping. Then she cross-referenced the coordinates with the Ifrane rebel cell's data on the planet. The searched turned up nothing on a Jedi, but, much to her surprise, it did turn up a place that was somewhat familiar to her. She pulled up the screen and zoomed in a few times just to be sure.

    "I don't believe it, but," she said, "these coordinates appear to be pretty close to where I grew up. Before... all this." She turned and faced Leah, handing her the datapad once again. "We should go there. I don't think there will be anything in the way of a building after five centuries... but, if there is going to be a clue as to the whereabouts of this relic we've both seen in our dreams, I'm betting its the best place. It just has to be."

    She turned and put her hands down on the keyboard of the console, scanning the screen for anything more. In particular, she was looking for a reference to the little green gnome she had seen in her dreams with Imani—whom she presumed to be the woman she kept seeing and hearing. "Still," she said, squinting her eyes as she scanned the glowing screen. "I'm not seeing any mention of another Jedi—not one fitting the description of the little one, at least. I wonder who he is... I wonder how he fits into all of this, if he does at all."

    Finding nothing, she shut the terminal down and pushed away from it. With nothing to busy herself with, another fresh wave of guilt buffeted her. The Force was strong with her. Ever since Leah's arrival, it was becoming more and more apparent. It was almost as if the arrival of the Jedi had caused it to fully awaken within her, and, now, it was forcing her to do what she could not do herself: make a choice. Would she embrace this power and allow herself to be taught its uses? Or would she continue to run and let it destroy her from within?

    She turned and glanced sideways at Leah. The Jedi had said nothing about her actions, but, she suspected the dry spell would not last very long. A lecture was coming, and, perhaps, a lesson. And she wasn't sure she was ready for either. So, instead she focused back on the task at hand. The relic. The dreams. Imani Sage.

    To Leah, she said, "Shall we begin?" @Deviant
     
  20. Leah Reach

    Leah Reach Character

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    You’re right, I can’t see how the other Jedi fits either, but we’ll have to wait and see.” She said in agreement, but a part of her knew the answer already. While the woman, Imani Sage, must have survived the period after the Hundred Year Darkness and lived out her days as a hermit, she acknowledged that the green alien was one of the Jedi who sacrificed themselves against the rising Sith. He was the one handing the relic down, and she saw the regret and sorrow in his eyes— the meeting between the two Jedi was likely their last. But whatever was contained in the artifact, the tiny Jedi had to have a role in its creation.

    Tucking the coordinates into the back of her head, she turned to Asha. The young woman was a disciplined rebel, but there could be no hiding her emotions from the Jedi Master. She sensed her worry, fear and guilt well enough. Leah was just unsure how to approach it, and how best to manage it. Asha was one of her first students, if not the first. While she may have held the title of Master, that didn’t truly make her one. She was woefully inexperienced in guiding the hearts and minds of future Jedi, and quickly she wished again for Master Reach. But he would never return. She understood that, and she knew the challenges ahead were for her and Asha alone.

    Leah nodded. “Let us.” Answer blunt, the older woman walked side by side the rebel back outside the palace. While much of the looters were dead and the route they had taken was still fresh in her head, the Jedi stretched her legs, ready to embark on a run back to the ship. Cracking her knuckles as the pair reached the palace doors, she leaned her legs forward and back vice versa. “Here we go.” She added before launching back into the city streets. Back to the ship, the distant waterfalls, to the ancient holocron, to the end of their mission and the beginning of something so much more.

    End Thread. ​
     
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